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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 October 2018
Newcastle and Gateshead Remploy workers on the national Remploy strike against closures 19 July 2012, photo Elaine Brunskill (Click to enlarge)
In 2012, Socialist Party members were involved in the strikes by Remploy workers against the Tory coalition government's closure and redundancy programme.
Remploy specialised in employing and finding work for disabled people but was targeted by successive governments for austerity cuts.
In 2008, Brown's Labour government axed 2,000 jobs and 29 factories. The remaining factories were closed in 2013 and the residual company sold to US corporation Maximus in 2015 for an undisclosed sum at the time.
Recently, it has been revealed that this sale was for a knockdown £2 million. But Maximus made profits of £7.1 million from "lossmaking" Remploy in 2016-17, with a dividend payout to shareholders of £2 million over the past two years, according to the Sunday Times. While extracting this profit, a further 100 employees were made redundant.
Maximus also has a finger in the pie of processing work capability assessments for disabled claimants of Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments.
These notoriously biased tests were so flawed and the results to claimants so cruel, that even the Commons work and pensions committee called for the assessment process to be brought back into the public sector.
In the meantime, Maximus continues to cream in the profits - which doubled in 2017 to £26 million.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 3 October 2018:
Labour Party conference
Labour conference shows: Blairites must be ousted
Socialist Party campaigns against the Blairites at Labour conference
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
'Tories must go' demonstration in Birmingham
Anti-fracking protesters jailed
Save Wirral NHS walk-in centres
More party than protest, but great response to socialist ideas at Leicester Pride
Socialist Party news and analysis
Zombie Tory government: general election now
Blood transfusion scandal
Shocking new data on declining life expectancy
NHS pay discrimination - militant union action can achieve fair pay for all
Maximus profitus: disabillity profiteering scandal
Tory Brexit Blues festival
Workplace news and analysis
Catering and courier workers strike together
Coordinated catering and courier strikes
York NHS workers strike against privatisation
Tube workers walk out
1,000 head teachers march on parliament
Camden - Unison members in pay fight
Socialist Party feature
Is this generation socialist?
International socialist news and analysis
USA: crisis follows Supreme Court justice nomination
Indonesia tsunami - a disaster compounded by capitalism
Enthusiasm for Socialist ideas at the freshers fairs
The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists: one-man show's new take on lively socialist classic
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 3 October 2018 |
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